Fertilizer Market Report – December 13, 2023

Insights on Urea Prices, Global Concerns, and Fertilizer Price Settlements

Fertilizer Market Report 2023/12/13 | In this week’s report, Argus Media’s outlook on urea prices, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance is concerned about the global direction and last week’s North American fertilizer price settlements.

News of the Week 

Argus 2024 Urea Market Outlook

Argus sees some weakness in urea prices going into 2024 due to limited demand but stabilizing through the rest of the first quarter, according to a recent webinar.

Key points driving the global urea market include the cost of European production (mainly natural gas) coming down significantly since July of 2022 which drove down global urea prices. This put buyers into last-minute buying mode. Europe reached a urea price floor in June 2023.

The market is still volatile and reliant on several factors, including last-minute buying, China export policy, Indian tenders, and short covering, as the global market is working through a period of lacklustre demand.

The near-term outlook is price weakness going into Q1 2024 followed by strength going into Q2 as the northern hemisphere moves into its demand season. Argus expects price weakness in Q3 2024 and possibly testing the price floors.

The medium-term outlook is for limited capacity additions and stubborn natural gas prices will keep the urea market propped up.

Ag Group Concerned on Global Direction

A good article in the Western Producer outlines how Michael Harvey, the new Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, believes that protectionist forces are derailing Agricultural trade liberalization at a time when progress is needed more than ever.

The article discusses the Carbon Border Adjustment that could force canola producers to pay the same carbon price as European producers. That could mean a carbon tax on fertilizer or diesel fuel equivalent to European levels.

North America Urea Last Week  

According to Green Markets, urea prices were flat WoW in Western Canada in a range of C$660-$685/mt. Urea prices in Eastern Canada were flat again in a range of C$710-$725/mt.

Last week, urea NOLA rose to a range of US$315-$330/st from the previous week’s range of US$295-$310/st.

North America Phosphate Last Week

According to Green Markets, the latest MAP offers in Western Canada was flat WoW in a range of C$1,050-$1,060/mt DEL.

MAP prices in Eastern Canada were up C$55/mt at the low end to a range of C$960-$985/mt.

The NOLA phosphate market was busy again with NOLA MAP prices firming to a range of US$600-$615/st from US$590-$610/st the previous week.

Industry Tidbits